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How-to Get Better Sexual Feedback (Post-Sex)

The moments post-sex are different for every couple. They even vary within the same couple. Maybe you fling yourselves to opposite sides of the bed, too sensitive to be touched for a while. Perhaps you don't move apart at all and remain tangled until you fall asleep. Maybe you high five. Maybe you scamper to the bathroom and emerge to find your partner naked in the kitchen devouring leftovers.

But what if you had thoughts about sex? Did something surprise you, and you want to talk about it? Feedback is an essential component to successful sexual relationships, so our communication series addresses these specific issues! Mary Margaret-Sweene is here with 5 ways to improve your communication after sex.

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Sometimes you're caught up in a sentimental rush of oxytocin and sometimes you're even unsatisfied. But either way, tread carefully when discussing sex while he's eating cold pizza in his birthday suit.

Rounding out our series on sexual communication (last article was on pre-sex communication), we're tackling the after-sex dialogue. This conversation is extremely important. Maybe it's a long discussion that becomes a new talking point in your ongoing back-and-forth. Maybe it's as simple as "Yep, that really worked for me." But feedback is crucial. Here are five points to keep in mind.

#1 Timing is key

If your partner is prone to falling asleep shortly after sex and you need to offer more than a quick positive affirmation, ask if you can talk in the morning. Make time. And if you are the sleepy partner, try to remember to feel your partner out. If they seem like they have something to say, ask. If you are able to stay awake and have the conversation, try. Or make an appointment for tomorrow. This will show that you are honoring your intimacy and not just the physical aspect of your sex life.

#2 Don't be shy

Your partner just saw you with one leg over your head and he said nasty, delightful things to you. Hold onto that openness! Because it feels good, we are willing to do things that make us very vulnerable during sex. But then for a lot of us, that shuts down as soon as we throw the sex toy back in the night stand. Don't be afraid to praise your partner with specifics. Challenge yourself to move from "That was really good. You know, when you did the thing? With the thing?" to "I really loved when you suggested the toy. It felt amazing. Maybe next time I can use it on you. How do you feel about that?"

#3 Don't be shy---but be respectful

Undoubtedly, not all of your feedback is going to be positive all the time. I know I'm going to have a good day when my husband starts it by pulling out the juicer. But once he made a juice combination so vile, the story lives on in our relationship dubbed "The Death Juice Morning." We're not always having amazing apple-carrot-grape juice sex, are we? If something really didn't work for you, you need to speak up. You owe that to your partner so they know how to please you, and you owe it to yourself so you can enjoy sex. But don't come out swinging. In hindsight, I could have handled The Death Juice Morning very differently. Instead of spitting the stuff into the sink and shrieking "It tastes like death!" I could have politely swallowed or spit back into my cup and said, "Wow--are you sure that was the recipe your dad gave you?" Similarly, "Why the hell would you just smack my ass like that?" can become "Babe, I know you were just excited but I'm not really into slapping. Or maybe not so hard."

#4 Touch

If some of your feedback involves how your partner can touch you differently, don't be afraid to take their hand and show them, versus exhausting your vocabulary of adjectives and verbs. You still may be too sensitive after orgasm for that, but if possible, a visual is really helpful. Also, especially if you're tackling a difficult subject, hold hands. Cuddle. Sex can bring up a lot of emotions and memories for people. Let your partner know that even if what they are sharing is scary, you are right there with them.

#5 Keep talking

Talking about sex doesn't have to happen immediately after a sexual encounter. It doesn't even have to be specific to a sexual encounter. The goal is to create an ongoing dialogue where the "before sex" and "after sex" conversations almost become indistinguishable. No matter how long ago your last sexual experience or how far in the future the next one is, you're communicating.

Mary-Margaret McSweene is a writer and graduate student in Chicago. Her undergraduate degrees are in Social Justice Studies and Feminist Theory which basically means she knows how to ruin a dinner party by calling bullshit on another guest. She spends inordinate amounts of time thinking, reading and writing about feminist issues, punctuated by brief respites to enjoy good tea and good beer. Contact her at or follow her on her brand new shiny Twitter, @MMMcSweene.
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